Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

What is it?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition displaying a range of behaviours including inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. People with ADHD have differences in the way the brain develops to organise thoughts and behaviour. People with ADHD tend to be constantly disorganised, forgetful and restless. As a result, they are often overwhelmed by the normal demands of life. They have been like it for as long as they can remember. They can seem easily preoccupied, doing only one thing properly at the expense of all others.

ADHD is not always a disadvantage! People with ADHD are often very creative and energetic, thinking about things in ways that other people don't. This may give advantages in their work or social life.

They can remember the same problems in childhood, and their parents and teachers will confirm that they seemed quite 'different to the other kids', being much more restless or chatty, constantly day dreaming, and always forgetting or losing things needed for school.

How do we know it's happening?

ADHD affects approximately one in every 50 people. About half of all children who have it still have troublesome symptoms beyond age 25. Among the more common problems are:

  • Always starting many new tasks before finishing old ones
  • Doing just one thing and ignoring every other important task
  • Always losing things (phone, keys) and forgetting appointments
  • Always drifting off in conversation, unable to focus on it
  • Being unable to stay sitting when, for example, in a cinema.

People with ADHD often also have problems with impulsivity (doing and saying things without thinking them through) or with controlling their temper; they often feel trapped and guilty about these things, feeling like it is not what they are really like inside.

ADHD runs in families. Parents of children with ADHD may wonder whether they themselves have it, because they notice many things about their behaviour which are similar.

What we offer

There is a lot of debate, even among professionals, around its diagnosis. Consequently, some people will think they have ADHD or be told they have it when they do not while others may be missed. AWP has a specialist team of doctors, psychologists and nurses who work exclusively with adults who have ADHD. We receive referrals from many health professionals in the south west and beyond.

An assessment usually takes from two to four hours and where a diagnosis is made, we offer treatment and further support.

Treatments:

  • Medication for ADHD in line with national and international research into the condition
  • Psychological training to help understand and master some of the ways it affects people - for example their administration, time management and making the most of their medication
  • Lifelong support, including working with patients and GPs to monitor treatment and provide ongoing support via telephone and face to face appointments.

Training:

We also offer talks and training to suit the needs of anyone who wants to know more about adult ADHD. Whatever your role - from schools to employers, interested groups to professionals - tell us what you need and we can deliver the right talk or training, ranging from 30 minutes to a full day.

Contact

Anyone thinking they have ADHD should first see their GP or other health professional.

Those wanting more information about our service should contact our team at the Petherton Resource Centre in Bristol.

Telephone: 01275 796262

Email: ADHD Service

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